Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The trouble with Muslim bashers

Over the years I've received hundreds of anti-Muslim hate emails. (I must be doing some good.) Often my correspondents regale me with quotes from Muslim scripture that show how evil and violent Islam is. I usually suggest that they refer to the Judaeo-Christian Bible if they want to see a real horror show.

Today, a reader sent me a link to a short amateur video called 'The Trouble With Islam'. Below is my reply to my correspondent:

Dear (name withheld),

Thank you for sending me the link. However, I must say that the bloke in the video spouts nonsense about Islam being a "religion of war". If you compare Christian nations and Muslim nations over the last millennium, the Christian nations put the others in the shade as far as war goes. The man's assertions need to be tested in the light of history and common sense. Germany, Britain, the USA -- the 20th Century records 'Christian' peacefulness. Which Muslim nations ever launched a World War? Which Muslim nations threaten the West today? Bush and Blair said that Iraq did. It was a tissue of lies told in order to pillage Iraq's oil.

I don't know if you've had as much to do with Muslims as I have -- I've had a lot -- but if you had, I think you'd realise that their religion has just a tiny proportion of fanatics, about the same as Christianity, Buddhism and any religion. There are about a billion Muslims, but where is the evidence that any but a few thousand are totally violent nutters? Can you imagine the worldwide conflagration if even one million (approx. 0.1 per cent) of Muslims were as the gentleman in the film asserts?

George W Bush created a climate in which ideas like this bloke's can take root. But, apart from 9/11, there hasn't even been a single Islamic outrage on American soil. (Compare that to the non-Muslim outrages like Oklahoma City and all the Columbine-like massacres, not to mention America's appalling rates of murder and execution.) Imagine how many Muslim outrages there would have been if there were a real threat -- all any extremist would need would be a box of matches to commit arson. It's ridiculously easy to do terrorism, but, overwhelmingly, Muslims aren't doing it -- except maybe where the USA has destabilized societies. (We may leave Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan out of the equation because they're examples of peoples eviscerated by Bush's policies.) On the whole, Muslims are quite possibly more peaceable than our own mob. Most of the terrorism in the past decade has been done in Sri Lanka by Buddhists and Marxists! Most of the state terrorism has been done by people waving the Cross of Jesus, or the Star of David. The statistics speak for themselves.

I've lived with Muslims, have known hundreds of Muslims and enjoyed friendship with many. Australians could learn a great deal from them about hospitality, dignity and kindness. To a man and woman, they have all been moderate and in no way fanatical, unlike many Christians I have known. Like most Christians, they aren't very interested in religion. Most of them enjoy a beer and a movie more than the prayer mat.

Having said that, I don't like Islam any more than any religion, but I do believe there is such a thing as Islamophobia, disingenuously generated by conservative ideologues on behalf of the captains of the energy industry.



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